- Real Estate
- Under Cover
- Special Editorial
- In Pictures
“Bon Voyage For The Peking? Seaport Museum Tacks In That Direction” (PRINT EDITION, Jan 15):
A museum is one thing. It is not a seaport. What is the history that we want to be our memory? Study other historical seaports……….are they without sails?
My late father, the artist Leon Dolice (1892-1960) arrived in this country in 1920, and some of his first etchings of New York were of the fishing ships that used to proliferate in this neighborhood.
Back in the 1950’s I accompanied him to the Fulton Fish Market that was then down there, where we bought seafood for Friday dinners on many occasions, as did almost all of the restauranteers from all over the city who wanted the freshest and best of the catch for their customers. Much of the charm of that neighborhood in those days was its apparent “grittyness”. Some years after his death in 1960, my mother moved downtown into that neighborhood and I lived for a few years myself at Southbridge Towers — one of the best of the Mitchell-Lama developments near the Seaport. Late at night I often walked the mostly deserted streets and myself became enamoured of the artist lofts, the old printing company, small shops and great restaurants (like the Bridge Cafe) because they preserved the old flavor of what that part of Manhattan had for years. Both the ships were the jewels in the crown of the Seaport.
Let’s hope that someone comes up with the funds to preserve those things — including both of the ships — and not turn this area into another part of Manhattan that is a magnet mostly only for tourists.
The film mentioned in the article–”Around Cape Horn”–is one of the greatest sailing movies ever made. To watch it and then set foot on the ship on which it was shot is a fantastic educational experience, and by itself a good reason to keep the Peking at the seaport. Mayor de Blasio, the son of a boatbuilder, should step up, sink the tower, and save the ship.
“Authority Picks Brookfield To Run Battery Park City Marina, But Questions Remain Unanswered” (POSTED, Jan 22):
If I was a lawyer I would have advised BPCA Chair Mehiel to not defend his board’s decision on the marina at such length. That he had to defend points to serious problems with the “process”. He pushed blame for community activism by the people on the “victim”, Fortenbagh. He disclosed that they allowed Brookfield to modify their RFP after the community outpouring. I sat next to another bidder, Suntex Marinas. I asked him if they had been given the opportunity to clarify “expectations and their commitments”. They had not, nor had Fortenbaugh. “Protocols” were not subject to change, yet they were changed.
When the community and taxpayers raise a great number of appearances of impropriety and ethical challenges – whether those improprieties or conflicts-of-interest are actual or implied – it is the “protocol” in our democracy to address the process.
Only a truly transparent process with community input could have allayed these concerns. Otherwise this deal and the people involved, including the BPCA, will always be tainted and smell like a rotten fish sitting on the marina dock.
It’s interesting to note how one’s perspective may be warped by preconceived notions and strong biases. Jeanne Wilcke reveals her biases here in her closing paragraphs by parroting the “Save North Cove” Kool-Aid drinkers’ tired call for a “transparent process with community input”. Your allegation that any bidder (let alone Brookfield) was permitted to “modify their RFP [proposal] after the community outpouring” is patently false. Listen again to the video dear Jeanne, and you will hear that which you don’t want to hear… It’s clear that the BPCA took every precaution to ensure the fulfillment of their legally mandated bid evaluation process…
The only rotten fish smell I can detect is emanating from the still smoldering efforts by a very noisy few to ignore the very clear imperatives of the Authority on behalf of the taxpayers of New York to fulfill their obligations to optimize use of a public park for more than just few hundred sailors who are now obviously far more worried about their increased commutation time to Jersey City to board their aging yachts, than any youth sailing operation that North Cove Marina Management NEVER RAN.
Guy WT Fawkes